Despite being in an Indian cookbook (yes Meera Sodha again!), I am pretty sure this must be a Persian dish, with its sour sweet tastes. She says its Mughal, so I guess that’s the same thing. Aubergine is one of the most versatile vegetables and I never tire of finding new ways to cook them. This is utterly simple and really yummy. Went well with my Chickpea and tomato salad.
Serves 4 as a main course, halve ingredients for a side salad
120 g walnuts, ground in a spice grinder or food processor
4 medium aubergines
salt and pepper
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tbsp honey
3/4 – 1 tbs chilli powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
250 ml hot water or vegetable stock (I tend not to used commercial stocks as they are too salty)
small pack of pomegranate seeds from supermarket
handful of fresh coriander
Pre-heat the over to 200C and line a baking tray with oiled foil. Blitz the walnuts and set to one side.
Cut the aubergines into 5 cm x 2 cm batons, toss with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until soft and slightly brown, about 25-30 minutes.
While they roasting, make the sauce. Put 3 tbs oil into a pan over medium heat and when hot add the onion. Fry for 12 minutes or until soft (don’t let them burn) and then add the garlic and fry for a further 3 minutes.
Add the honey, chilli powder, cinnamon, pinch of salt, good grind of pepper, the walnuts and the pomegranate molasses. Stir thoroughly to mix and add the water or stock. Simmer gently for about 8 minutes, under a cover so it doesn’t evaporate too much.
When the aubergines are ready, put the sauce into the serving dish/plate and pile up the aubergine batons on top. Scatter with pomegranate seeds and coriander. Serve with basmati or red rice and a salad, like my chickpea and tomato tarka, plus some green leaves.